Alex Massie

UKIP’s biggest problem is stupidity, not racism

UKIP's biggest problem is stupidity, not racism
Text settings

Let me be clear, any time you feel the need to write "Let me be clear - UKIP is not a racist party" you are in a pickle. Parties shunned by actual, honest-to-goodness, copper-bottomed, ocean-going racists don't usually need to make these things clear. There is a protesting-too-much vibe here, too, in which the more strenuously the Kippers reject the accusation so they only succeed in substantiating it. This might not be fair but it's also life.

The precise point at which a party for racists or a party in which racists feel at home becomes a racist party is a metaphysical question the pondering of which need not detain us. Suffice it to say that Mr Farage's admission there are plenty of "idiots" within UKIP speaks for itself.

I suppose Gordon Ferguson, the UKIP candidate in Southport who thinks his opponents should be hanged for treason is one of those idiots. But Mr Ferguson, poor fish, is merely following his leader's example. After all, it is Mr Farage's advertisement in today's Daily Telegraph that bears the slogan: ALL WE WANT IS OUR COUNTRY BACK.

Britain, you see, has been sold. And sold without your permission. A reasonable person might think this suggests Mr Farage and those who think like him believe the LibLabCon alliance (sic) to be stuffed full of traitors. In other words, if Mr Ferguson is one of the idiots then isn't Mr Farage one too?

He may be. Who told the Sunday Times at the weekend that "We face the prospect where millions of British families, unless we take a grip on our borders, will effectively not be living in a first world country any more"? It wasn't some previously unknown loony running for the council in Barmy-on-Sea, it was the dear leader himself. Perhaps he was 'tired' then too.

Alas poor Britannia; so pure once but now so, so swarthy.

And what to make of this? You see,"The vast majority of Romanians who have come to the UK wish to better their lives and would make good neighbours".

On the other hand, you can't be too sure can you? How can you tell? It is very difficult. So, "We must take back the power to stop criminals from entering our country by taking back control of our borders. The only way to do that is to leave the EU. Then we can give Romanians who want to come of the UK work permits and do the necessary checks. When this happens my answer to the question 'Should people be concerned if a group of Romanian men moved in next door?' will be 'No'."

In other words, even though the 'vast majority' of Romanians are fine, hard-working types I still think you should be worried if they move into your street. Why? Because, come on, we all know there's a difference. There just is.

Does it matter if this is racist or even simply idiotic? Not really because it's certainly very stupid.

There you go again, however, smearing the bold Farage using the dastardly tactic of quoting his own words against him. Typical metropolitan elite (Leith platoon). When will this mad injustice ever end?

I dare say UKIP will still do extremely well in this week's elections. But the mask has slipped and only the credulous can still suspend their disbelief. This may one day be seen as the moment of Peak UKIP and though the party will doubtless have an impact upon next year's general election its long-term prospects have been damaged severely in recent days.

Which is as it should be since a party with the same answer to every problem is not really a party that has answers to any problem at all.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.